After reading “Six American Children” and “Shall We Overcome,” I wondered what happened to the Democrat party. The writer states that our country’s historic racism, prejudice and poverty spring from white people. Whites, according to the piece, had no other motive but to “systematically oppress, uproot harm and kill.” Today, the narrative continues, “racism, prejudice, poverty, poor education and unemployment” are remnants of white racism.

I remember the Democrats who used to represent the party. Liberals like Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that his children would one day not be judged by the color of their skin, but on the content of their character.

To depict European immigrants who came here preceding our nation’s founding as only whites on an evil mission does both– judges skin color and impugns character on the basis of race. These same politicians insist on labeling the immigrants todaycoming into our country from the southern border as “brown.” This depiction carries the weight of victimhood status and keeps their narrative alive; racism is everywhere.

Race informs everything. As a child of the civil rights era, this narrative feels like an infection which hasentered our nation’s mind causing severe illness. The new American nightmare views our citizens not as individuals with diverse motives and character, but as racial victim groups which need the help of a political party to thrive. To me, it is the exact opposite of MLK’s view of racial reconciliation.

I believe that it is no accident that Western Civilization history, which touts the Enlightenment view of individual rights and responsibility, has been replaced in most universities with black, women and white studies all of which attribute white racism to the cause of their supposed victimhood.The narrative implies that victims need allies, advocates and government to give them agency, power and freedom. They need reparative justice, speech codes, affermative action and other policies which arm their implied lack of initiative, inherent equality and personal power.

Which brings me to John F. Kennedy, another liberal Democrat who exhorted us to ask not what our nation can do for us, but what we can do for our nation. His work with MLK in securing the Civil Rights Act showed what people can do when they work in coalition withothers. All of the amazing gains which have been made in our country towards eliminating the remnants of global racism and slavery, which ended up in our new nation, have been made by coalitions of blacks, whites, religious people and both political parties. Our founders struggled to put an end to black slavery from the beginning even while engaged in it. We fought a civil war to end it. Our founding documents were informed by the issue of slavery and were written to ensure that it could not flourish in this new republic. Slavery was pervasive on the globe and our founders had to deal with it and they did. Less than a hundred years into our new country, slavery was abolished. But the new narrative does not focus on our gains of racial-reconciliation. It actually seems invested in maintaining accusations of racism for political-purposes. It keeps racism alive and well. Huge amounts of money are devoted towards implicit bias training to make sure it is always in view.

This is not liberalism. It is politics at its worst. Liberals, with many others, helped to abolish slavery and condemn racism without enshrining reverse racism into the basis of their new narrative.

Katherine Nicolet is a long-time resident of Lakeside.

(9) comments

ArizAl

Why even post?

ArizAl

Maybe this will get posted. Ain't holding my breath, though. Katherine, Re:Racism. Individual Rights and Responsibility can mean different things to different people. Slave owners believed it was their "individual right" to own another person because of their skin color. So great was their belief that they made it their "responsibility" to use any governmental means to affirm their rights to own black people, much the same as they would own any farm animal. The use of the government to further their cause is one that finally culminated into the Civil War. That is just an example of how historically the government is always used to affect changes in our society....sometimes good,sometimes bad changes. It doesn't go without notice that your lamenting "that victims of racism need allies, advocates, and government to give them agency,power and freedom, also applies to those that embrace racism and discriminatory laws. Moreover, it is also the "responsibility" and "individual Rights" of any American citizen regardless of skin color, when they are victims of discrimination, bigotry, or racism to engage the government(s) to rectify the situation...that is much better and civil than using violence. After all, the United States Constitution provides the civil process for citizens to make changes in our laws for the betterment of our social society.

johndoe

Wow Al you finally said something I agree with, it is true that slave owners (all Democrats) believed it was their right to own people and treat them like property. (Much like they do today) When the civil war ended and the emancipation proclamation was enacted (no Democrats voted for it by the way) Democrats had to find a new way to enslave the people, and so the underhanded racism of the liberal Democrats began and is going strong to this day. The moto of the Democratic party: Keep them poor, keep them uneducated and keep them reliant on the government so they can keep their power.

2rusty

Wow! Al said something for me to agree with, too! Why bother to post? This has gotten ridiculous. Katherine, you nailed it. I do NOT know how a thinking person can blame the Republicans for racism when the Democrats are the ones constantly stirring the pot and telling EVERYONE (racial and sexual minorities, women, etc. etc) how oppressed they are and how the Dems feel their pain and stand ready to free them from it.

ArizAl

" Keep them poor" like the republicans votes against a federal and state wage increases OR cuts in federal and state funding for safety net programs OR taking away healthcare OR the republican party's votes against the Equal Rights Amendment. Those republican beliefs are such that they are meant to keep all americans including African-Americans disenfranchised and poor. The republican Trump tax cuts for the rich are an excellent example of how the republican party is orchestrating economic slavery of not just African Americans, but of all Americans. "Keep them under educated" Like the republican party's opposition to the public school system because it educates all children, rich and poor. Instead, the republican party wants to educate only those kids whose families can afford to pay for their kids education. All the while, republicans are orchestrating economic slavery to the point that many families, especially African American families will not be able to afford paying for their kids education. The republican party's dream of keeping Black folks poor and uneducated also includes keeping Blacks from voting by passing voter suppression laws. Johndoe, everyday that you wake up in the morning is another day that you will be reliant on hundreds, maybe thousands, of government services, be they for infrastructure, for national and personal security, for civil and legal protections, get the point? The reason that you chose to live within the United States constitutional government is that you, like all americans are reliant and happy to have a government that "Provides/Promotes for the General Welfare" of all it's citizens and a government of "We the People." The question is Johndoe, why is it that you and the republican party believe that the U.S. government should not help,(provide/promote the general welfare) of the elderly, the sick, the poor, the unemployed, the discriminated of all races (Blacks),the uneducated? Do you think that the U.S. government was established to provide/promote only republicans personal welfare? I believe that is your republican ideology...an unamerican ideology.

johndoe

Once again Al you simply regurgitate the sound bites from liberal news and offer no facts to support it. Here are some facts, Detroit is run by democrats and has a massive poverty and crime rate. San Francisco is a literal cesspool now, and of course under democratic rule, coincidence? No, just fact that democrats do not have any clue on how to fix problems, just like you they only point fingers and call people names who do not agree with them.

ArizAl

Johndoe, Interesting that at this moment, while you have become so politically beligerent against anyone that isn't a repuiblican extremist, the fact is that republicans have failed dozens of times and have yet to come up with a healthcare plan for America that will be better than Obamacare. Ya didn't fix it, even when republicans ran both houses of congress and the office of president. However, You republicans didn't have any problems passing laws taking away some Obamacare benefits for the people. The problems at the border with the Nazi style Trump concentration camps,the children being abused, being kidnapped, being ripped from their mothers arms are the doing of the Trump policies. Your republican Fascist leader, Trump could fix the inhumane situation at the border with a simple executive order. Why doesn't he, a republican, fix it? Simply he doesn't care if little children and babies suffer as long as his brain dead republican followers cheer his war on children. Of course, everybody knows how the republican Michigan Gov. and republican state legislators fixed the potable water in Flint, Michigan... by poisoning the people with lead. They didn't fix it johndoe, they made it worse. Then, in Arizona, we have the republican Governor and republican majority Senate and House legislators stealing money from public schools for years by defunding them to give tax cuts to corporations. That doesn't fix any problems with public schools, it only causes the districts to ask the the local taxpayers to tax themselves more to replace the school revenue funds lost by the republican tax cuts for the corporations. Not to forget, it is this Trump republican administration that screwed up the Obama (U.S.) nuclear deal with Iran and ten other European nations that stopped Iran from aquiring nuclear weapons technology. Thanks to the Trump republicans, Iran is now proceding with their nuclear technology and North Korea giving republican Trump and his republican adminstration.... the finger. Republicans didn't fix a dang thing.

ronzim

Al has this right. History illiterates say that the Republican party freed the slaves and that the Democrats were(and remain) the party of slavery/racism. While this is basically true, these history illiterates then pretend that nothing has happened since the civil war, and that these former conditions have remained frozen in time. That is the only way they can perpetuate the grand lie they tell with such fervor. We must bear in mind the historical fact that America was, and remains, one of the most virulently racist nations on earth. The passage of time has merely served to change which political party can best be exploited to serve those racist ends. The Republican party of Lincoln, which was actually formed out of zeal for anti-slavery, no longer exists. It has undergone a metamorphosis by which it has evolved as the party of racism in the U.S: a white(88%), Christian party of racism lives perpetually in terror of their inevitable demographic subordination by non whites. Although legal slavery was the predicate for the civil war, it was not the issue for which the South laid down such a ghastly price and failed to purchase. To be certain, economic issues were in a strong supporting role; however, the star of the piece was the caste system of culture then prevailing in the south. That was overwhelming, and led to turgid beliefs that breeding was the key to socio-biological superiority and the tragic conclusion that one white, southern Christian gentleman was the equal of a half dozen Yankees on the battlefield. Alas, pedigree did not prevail over cannonry. From those days until now, we have perpetual remonstrance's concerning the bitter resentment by our racist culture of outside incursions into "our way of life" which means any retrenchment of the caste system historically in effect. During slavery it entailed black slaves at the bottom; white slaves next; poor, propertied whites next; white farmers and merchants next, with the plantation aristocracy at the top, who used power, wealth and violence to enforce that caste system, just as they do today, but mostly under the colour of law. After Democrat Harry Truman desegregated the Army and the Democrat Party supported laws that ended Jim Crow, 35 delegates from the deep south walked out of the 1948 Democratic National Convention and formed the Dixiecrat Party. They elected Strom Thurmond as their leader, who would never identify as a Democrat again. In 1963, John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, forced the desegregation of the University of Alabama, an event in which I took part. Then came the breaking point that would basically change the party affiliation of Southern voters. Shortly before the election of 1964, Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. Following that, Richard Nixon's brilliant southern strategy forever cemented the former Republican Party(now Trump's White Nationalist Party) as the party of racism. As we see, a few things have happened since the civil war.

ronzim

Once again, we have data selection in a vain attempt to prove an invalid point. According to the U.S. Census, of the ten poorest states in America, nine are fully controlled by Republicans, and have been for some time. The error in the assertion that Detroit and San Francisco are poor/violent due to Democrat misrule is that no data are provided which demonstrate the reasons for the observable conditions. I could as easily claim that traditional Republican misrule in those nine poorest states is the cause of their poverty. Any such assertion, absent substantiating data, would be laughed off the stage, and well so. Similarly, the FBI's crime report shows that in 2017, seven of the ten safest states(property crimes and violent crimes) were under Democrat control while nine of the ten most crime-ridden states were under Republican control. Does that mean, ipso facto, that Republican rule results in crime. Of course not. It does not rule out any such conclusion either. An examination of the underlying causes is needed. For example, during the Civil War the masses of Confederate infantry who hurled themselves into the teeth of Union cannonry were the self-same poor white slaves of the south who were fighting to save the very caste system which enslaved them. Might it not be the same today? Might not the poorest among us be voting Republican just as perversely as the Johnny Rebs threw away their lives and limbs? After all, they are presumed to be the least educated of our polity. Certainly, a powerful correlation between gun safety laws and homicides is prevalent. Is there a causal factor attributable to Republican rule and laxer laws? Smart Politics reported that those sates with the highest property and violent crime rates, and the poorest populations, consistently voted for Republican presidential candidates in election after election. We are always burdened by intellectually lazy commentators who don't want to do the work to ferret out the truth, and who, apparently, don't even want the truth in the first place.

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